Rafa Benitez has hinted he will have greater control over Everton’s transfer business following Marcel Brands’ departure from Goodison Park.
Speaking after the Toffees’ last-gasp victory over Arsenal which ended a run of eight games without a win, Benitez was asked about Brands’ exit, which had been announced shortly before midnight on Sunday.
The under-pressure manager – who was given only £1.7m to spend in his first transfer window at the club – was rewarded by one of his summer signings, Demarai Gray, who fired in a spectacular injury-time winner to add a positive finale to a night when an earlier planned walk-out by fans, in protest against their 27-year trophy drought, failed to materialise on any significant scale.
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When questioned over whether he would be given more say over Everton’s transfer policy in the wake of Brands’ exit, Benitez told Sky Sports: “You can say it in this way. People that are working now can give us all the information we need to make sure we make the right decisions.
“I was working for years with a director of football. It is not an issue. Now we have to think about the future and we have a situation where we must take responsibility. We have to prepare now for the future. It is short term and January, then we have to think long term.
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“The club has changed managers in the past and now they want to do something long term with a clear idea of what we want to achieve. With my experience and the people we have in the club I think we can guide things in the direction that will hopefully be the right one.”
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win over Arsenal in the Premier League.
Benitez had issued a rallying cry for supporters before the game and after being roared to victory in a raucous atmosphere, inspired by two contentious disallowed Richarlison goals, the manager re-asserted his belief in the strength of the Goodison Park crowd.
“It is clear, when the fans, the players, everybody sticks together we are stronger,” he said. “The reaction of the team to the goals that were disallowed and conceding a goal at the end of the first half, we still scored goals and reacted. Every player and fan is expecting that. Everybody is really pleased and hopefully it is the right step forward.
“The fans are expecting commitment. You can talk about mistakes and we concede because we made mistakes against a good team. In terms of commitment the players are there and the fans appreciate that. They want to see a team that has spent a lot of money getting better and better. We will do it. It will take time but we will do it. everybody now has the hope.”
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Carragher: Moshiri ‘doesn’t have a clue’
With the news that Marcel Brands is no longer at Everton, Jamie Carragher questions the leadership at Everton, arguing that owner Farhad Moshiri has no football expertise and doesn’t know what he is doing.
Before kick-off at Goodison Park, boyhood Everton fan and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher looked at the business done by the Toffees under owner Farhad Moshiri – including a net spend of £268m, and six permanent managers, in less than six years at the helm.
Branding the team “a joke” given their sole top-seven finish in that time, back in 2017 under Ronald Koeman, Carragher told Monday Night Football: “[Gary Neville] mentioned before about it being a laughing stock, I wouldn’t go that far but if you go back to the David Moyes era, Everton had something about them.
“Yes, they didn’t win a trophy, it’s easy to laugh at them, but there was a spirit about them. A fight. You knew it was a tough place to go, they stood for something.
“It’s not long after that Moshiri came in. All of a sudden, because they couldn’t break that ceiling, you look how many managers he’s had and how much has been spent, he’s had eight including interim ones, and he’s now onto his third director of football.
“On the board at Everton, you’ve got Bill Kenwright and Denise Barrett-Baxendale, staunch fans of the club. There’s no way either of them wanted Rafa Benitez anywhere near the club.
“But the problem they have, not being in sole control, they’re so terrified in going against Moshiri, because he’s the guy with the money, who’s going to make the stadium happen. Without him, it probably doesn’t happen.
“That’s the big problem. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. hence eight managers, players getting signed left, right and centre. Yes he’s got the money, but he’s got no footballing expertise at all.”
Carragher added that Brands had been a fall-guy for Everton’s failings in the transfer market, and said the responsibility should lie with the man at the top – Moshiri – for their long-term issues.
“I don’t think [Brands] is solely to blame at all,” he said. “I mentioned before, Everton signed 58 players since Moshiri has been there. Brands hasn’t been there that whole time.
“No chance did Brands sign all those players. I’m not defending him but there’s no way he’s picked any of the managers coming in.
“He’s certainly not been involved in all the players coming in and really, I don’t really know what he was doing there because as a director of football he was quite high profile coming from PSV Eindhoven.
“That’s a big part of that football club. They run the club but that was certainly not the case at Everton.”
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